NO ONE wants a flabby or bloated belly and having one can increase your risk of a host of health problems.
Excess fat puts pressure on the pancreas and other precious organs, so we have to be careful, to make sure that our waist stays at a safe size.
Sometimes it’s the food we eat that can cause that full, gassy feeling.
Here’s a list of foods that may be contributing to your belly fat, so you may want to think about limiting or avoiding them.
And if you want to get serious about losing belly fat that join our 28 Day Weight Loss Challenge where are all recipes and food plans are chosen to help reduce belly fat too and Elle Temple (pictured above) from Perth lost 26kg* on our plans. Read her weight loss story here.
Ditch these 9 foods to get rid of tummy fat
1. Dairy products
Lactose intolerance can range from mild to severe, but either way, gas is usually a symptom. If you are feeling bloated, try limiting the amount of milk, cheese, yoghurt, and ice cream you eat, and see if that helps. If it does, you don’t have to ditch dairy altogether. Drink lactose-free milk, or take Lactaid pills to help your body digest milk products.
2. Potato chips
One of your favourite snacks may be giving you belly fat. Most potato chip brands are cooked in hydrogenated oils. This type of oil is called a trans-fat. Trans-fat is known to increase cholesterol, contribute to heart disease and increase weight. Chips that don’t contain hydrogenated oil may have high amounts of fat from other oils they’re fried in. There are baked and low fat potato chips on the market that make better choices. However, be aware of the calorie count. High calories still contribute to belly fat.
3. Soft drinks
Soda is not only unhealthy for you, it increases belly fat. It has empty calories that add excess weight and also provides large amounts of sugars. This sugar comes in the form of fructose and other additives. Your body has a hard time burning this sugar off, especially in the mid-section. You may think that diet soft drink are better, but they also contain artificial sweeteners that contribute to bad health. It’s best to drink pure water to lose your belly fat.
4. Processed baked goods
So convenient, so tasty (if we’re being honest here), but so not worth it. Those pre-packaged mini muffins, doughnuts, and dessert cakes will add tons of calories and loads of unwanted sugar to your diet, plus they aren’t easy to digest. These foods are bad on so many levels, because they are filled with high sugar content and preservatives for a longer shelf-life — they can literally sit there forever! Sugar increases inflammation, which is not only bad for you but can also make you look puffy and bloated. Skip the wrapped stuff and grab fresh fruit for a sweet fix instead.
5. Fried foods
Deep fried chicken and french fries taste good, but they will not do your stomach any favour. Fast food, for example, is usually greasy and has very little vitamins and minerals or fibre. Instead, it is loaded with sodium and trans-fat which manifests itself in your stomach. If you must have fast food, choose more healthy options from the menu.
Choose a small amount of regular butter or soft spread over margarine when topping foods or baking! Margarine is usually loaded with trans-fat and is found in plenty of pastries, crackers, snack foods, and even microwave popcorn, so limit intake to keep cholesterol levels in check.
7. White flour and rice
Try to cut back on the white carbs if you are truly determined to see your belly vanish. Trade your white bread, flour, rice, and pasta for whole grain products such as brown bread and rice. White carbs have already been processed and are therefore digested rapidly by the body to be stored as fat.
Cereals are not necessarily bad for you, but some people usually double the serving size which means more is eaten than the box actually recommends. So if you find that your pants are getting a bit snug in the mornings, you might want to try weighing your cereal with a measuring cup before you start to gulp it down. Also choose a nut milk like almond-milk, and avoid the temptation to add sugar.
9. Refined sweeteners and sugar
Refined sugar helps to raise the insulin level in the body which promotes the storage of fat. It also affects the immune system and makes it harder to fight off germs and diseases.
Why is belly fat so bad?
Belly fat and bloating can not only be uncomfortable and unsightly, but it can also be dangerous! Losing belly fat doesn’t have to be solely a cosmetic goal; understanding the health issues linked to it can help motivate you.
Tummy fat is linked with cardiovascular disease, diabetes and cancer. Specifically it’s the deepest layer of belly fat —the fat you can’t see or grab — that poses health risks. That’s because these “visceral” fat cells actually produce hormones and other substances that can affect your health (e.g. increased insulin resistance and/or breast cancer risk). So think twice the next time you have to make a choice over that sweet pastry and your waistline.
5 top tips to help get rid of belly fat
1. Go fresh!
Cut out as much processed food as possible (anything in a packet, basically) and opt for plenty of fresh fruit, vegetables, nuts, seeds and lean meats.
Give this Fresh Chicken Caesar Salad a go for a light and delicious lunch or dinner!
2. Try our Healthy Mummy smoothies
Our Stomach Fat Busting Healthy Mummy Smoothie (pictured above) is a healthy breakfast alternative. Plus you are less likely to reach for fatty or sugary snacks for morning tea.
3. Cut down on sugar and alcohol
These are two key areas to focus on if you want to reduce stomach fat as they can cause bloating.
4. Get moving regularly
Daily exercise is a great way to shift tummy fat. A regular walk or jog, a segment and the exercises from the 28 Day Weight Loss Challenge are all great options.
5. Join the 28 Day Weight Loss Challenge!
Our 28 Day Weight Loss Challenge is an affordable, customisable program designed to help mums reach their weight loss goals and tackle their health.
Our Challenge entails:
- 28 days of at home exercise routines (no gym needed) – with video instruction
- Customisable and breastfeeding friendly meal plans
- Time-efficient exercises for busy mums – under 30 mins
- Challenge combines Pilates exercises with interval and circuit training (HIIT)
- Suitable for basic to advanced fitness levels
- Home to thousands of EASY-TO-MAKE recipes!
*Images and references to kilograms lost are as supplied by the individual in the story. The Healthy Mummy assumes information and photographs supplied to be true in nature and is not responsible for any false misrepresentations or claims relating to their programs or products.